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Time it takes to pack & unpack, and any strategy for not having to repeat each time?

Time it takes to pack & unpack, and any strategy for not having to repeat each time?

Old Nov 27, 17, 1:01 pm
  #46  
 
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Only somewhat related, some of the answers raise in my mind that I always pack the day before. That way, if I think of anything I forgot overnight, which often happens, I can just throw it in.
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Old Nov 27, 17, 2:04 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
That only works if the circumstances of each trip are the same. If you take summer leisure trips to HKG or Japan and then business trips to NYC in February, you're going to need radically different lists.

Wow, why didn't I think of that CDTraveler? Stating the obvious really isn't necessary. Different trips, different lists. Since we no longer need to work for a living, we have no business trips any more and other than for winter travel when the list does indeed change, the majority of trips need only the one list which is good for travel in 3 seasons. It's easy to know what to add and subtract for the fourth season.

The point is, you can make a list and then stick to it, NOT decide on each item at the time of packing. It is the time spent deciding that usually takes up most of people's time.
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Old Nov 27, 17, 2:56 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
Wow, why didn't I think of that CDTraveler? Stating the obvious really isn't necessary.
You seem to have a problem with people responding to what you actually posted. We're not mind readers, so if you meant something different, write that in the first place. I'm trying to respond the OP's needs and he clearly mentions both leisure travel and business travel. You dogmatically went on about "stick to your list" without acknowledging that that method would not fit the OP's stated circumstances.
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Old Nov 27, 17, 3:32 pm
  #49  
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CDTraveler, the method does indeed fit the OP's stated circumstances. If that is too difficult for you to understand, I can't help you.

If you are being pedantic, well then tell me why making a list and sticking to it will not work for both leisure and business travel.

I think the OP probably has enough intelligence to figure out that different lists can be made for different circumstances and that you will probably not want to have just one list that covers both (although you could). Are you trying to suggest the OP does not have enough intelligence to figure that out?
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Old Nov 27, 17, 3:38 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by kb9522 View Post
I'm always very specific on the instructions on what I do and don't want... down to the temperature of the water and heat setting for the dryer. I've never had any issue with this... except in one location where the only laundromat the hotel could possibly contract out to in a gazillion mile radius was owned and operated by a single elderly Asian woman who, as far as I can tell, knew very few words in English.
I tried to give instructions both times. The first was a laundry run by a Russian woman who hardly had a word of English. She took me next door to ask a friendly optician to translate a bit, but I didn't think of asking for no fragrances or no starch.

The second time, I had my hotel in Akko send out a bag of clothes. I did request no fragrances but as I suspected, I got the full stink anyway.
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Old Nov 27, 17, 11:07 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
I'd strongly consider that a toothbrush, shaver and goggles can be cost-effectively duplicated for a dedicated travel kit. Do you use the NC headphones at home or only on the road?
Add to that a laptop charger and various charging cables.

My travel varies from every week for 6 weeks to once every few months, probably comparable to the OP, but I have a travel backpack that basically stays packed all the time. It has a power supply for my laptop (I travel with two laptops, but they use the same PS), a 3-1-1 bag that I check before each trip, a pack-it cube that has a couple of grid-its with all the cables and adapters I might need, a two output USB charger, earplugs, a few bandaids, a cheap laser pointer and various other small items. I have a drawer in the bathroom where I keep travel sized toiletries and restock occasionally, and pull things from it when I check the 3-1-1 bag. I keep a USB to phone cord, a car lighter socket charger, and a cheap phone holder that clips to the dash in an outside pocket of the bag so it's easy to get to when I get to the rental car. Lately the bag also has an inflatable pillow and a cup-pilot. I'll stick sunglasses in a case in an outside pocket if I think I need them.

Clothes take just a few minutes - I have a soft, shoulder-carry carry-on (old school, pre-wheelie) and put shirts, underwear, and socks for N+1 days in. Then a pair of bike shorts for the exercise bike in the gym, and any rain jackets, etc if I'm going someplace where water falls from the sky. For longer trips I'll toss in the aeropress that stays packed with a grinder and the electric toothbrush. Packing is quick enough that it's started to seem too easy, but the other thing is that except in extreme cases, I can generally replace anything I need on the road.

The key is that most things in the travel bags are duplicates of things I use at home, and when I take something I don't have dupes of, it usually has a place where it always is so I can just grab it and toss it in (like my work ID that I need for hotel rates). Some things have travel containers that I try to keep packed. The laptops usually sit on a home charger until right before I leave, then both go in a slot in the backpack - it only takes a second. It comes down to putting high value on your time - if I can consistently save time packing by spending a relatively small amount of money, it's a no brainer - just buy the spare and put it in the bag.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 6:12 am
  #52  
 
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This is an interesting conversation because it shows what variation there is in packing habits and preferences. There are some who can pack for a week in a carryon no bigger than a portable office and there are others (like myself) who check bags and travel with personal amenities, an extra outfit or two (especially if plans are not set). These two very diverse groups have different advice. There are a few items/toiletries that I always keep in my luggage which makes it easier to head out on a trip but since I am one who packs a lot there is no getting around the fact it takes longer than someone with two outfits and a handful of toiletries. If its a trip that is longer I will have two suitcases with one being the stuff I am going to use the most often and the other with everything else including the growing laundry bag.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 6:40 am
  #53  
 
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I have always thought packing is inherently easier/faster for those who are naturally very neat and tidy. For example, I am someone who always packs at least two blazers/suits and I need to pack them in a garment bag style suitcase (the Samsonite Spheres garment bag/suitcase hybrid spinners are awesome). If I tried to pack them in a regular suitcase it would look like a hobo was sleeping in it when I removed it from the suitcase.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 7:39 am
  #54  
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Thanks a lot for additional feedback.

Just wondering... is there anyone out there who's nearly as slow as me in packing? If so, what do you think holds you up?
@Lodd: Lots of helpful pointers. Thank you! It seems there are varying opinions about these packing cubes. But after reading your post, I think I will try it after all. Just one question... do these cubes compress and give, so that I don't end up with a situation where my suitcase is barely too short to stack two cubes, etc? I'd like there to be flexibility in terms of how many cubes to fit in relative to the suitcase size and not being left with excessive/weird leftover space.

Originally Posted by Lodd View Post
I suspect that part of your packing process is trying to get everything to fit, finding out it won't, and then trying to rearrange everything. In the process you start pulling out different suitcases and wondering which ones are big enough to fit everything while still small enough to be easy to bring. One of my relatives packs like this. Most of the time is lost to trying to figure out what to bring, because not everything will fit, and therefore everything has to be unpacked and repacked multiple times..
That is somewhat me, except I don't spend too much time trying to figure out what to bring because I have a list and also I'm not to the point of unpacking/repacking multiple times. I do waste some time trying to figure out which suitcases to take and how to best fit what I need to bring, though.


Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
I would suggest you look at where you are actually spending your time evergrn. Packing time is technically, only the actual amount of time you spend putting things into your suitcase. My guess is, that is not where you are spending the majority of your time. My guess is that it is spent on deciding what to put in. One piece of advice you have been given but appear to be ignoring is to have dedicated 'travel' items. The toiletry bag ready and waiting is one example that has been given over and over here. The same can be done with everything else as well. If you have a Packing List that you follow without fail, you will spend less time from opening the suitcase to pack it to closing it packed.
It's hard to say where the majority of time is spent, but you're right it's certainly not on putting things into the suitcase. But it's also not on deciding what to put in. I think I waste some time deciding how to put things in. Also you're right that I need to restrategize having my travel items bundled. I work off my list and I'm having to go all over my home chasing after my list items (eg, my car outside for my sunglasses). Where I have my travel things is optimized for daily use at home since I'm home ~85% of the time and I don't have duplicates of those travel things. But I'll have to rethink this.

Originally Posted by chrisl137 View Post
My travel varies from every week for 6 weeks to once every few months, probably comparable to the OP, but I have a travel backpack that basically stays packed all the time. It has a power supply for my laptop (I travel with two laptops, but they use the same PS), a 3-1-1 bag that I check before each trip, a pack-it cube that has a couple of grid-its with all the cables and adapters I might need, a two output USB charger, earplugs, a few bandaids, a cheap laser pointer and various other small items. I have a drawer in the bathroom where I keep travel sized toiletries and restock occasionally, and pull things from it when I check the 3-1-1 bag. I keep a USB to phone cord, a car lighter socket charger, and a cheap phone holder that clips to the dash in an outside pocket of the bag so it's easy to get to when I get to the rental car. Lately the bag also has an inflatable pillow and a cup-pilot. I'll stick sunglasses in a case in an outside pocket if I think I need them.

Clothes take just a few minutes - I have a soft, shoulder-carry carry-on (old school, pre-wheelie) and put shirts, underwear, and socks for N+1 days in. Then a pair of bike shorts for the exercise bike in the gym, and any rain jackets, etc if I'm going someplace where water falls from the sky. For longer trips I'll toss in the aeropress that stays packed with a grinder and the electric toothbrush. Packing is quick enough that it's started to seem too easy, but the other thing is that except in extreme cases, I can generally replace anything I need on the road.

The key is that most things in the travel bags are duplicates of things I use at home, and when I take something I don't have dupes of, it usually has a place where it always is so I can just grab it and toss it in (like my work ID that I need for hotel rates). Some things have travel containers that I try to keep packed. The laptops usually sit on a home charger until right before I leave, then both go in a slot in the backpack - it only takes a second. It comes down to putting high value on your time - if I can consistently save time packing by spending a relatively small amount of money, it's a no brainer - just buy the spare and put it in the bag.
All of this is most helpful. I think this is really it. I need to start investing in duplicates. This is where I spend too much time. I only have one of laptop power charger, smartphone charger cord, etc. These cords and chargers collect dust after a week or less. So then I have to wipe it down before packing. All of this takes time. This may be a dumb question, but is there a laptop charger that's more or less universally compatible with all laptop PC's? My wife and I will update our laptop every few years and our laptops are different (one's Dell, another's Levovo).
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Old Nov 28, 17, 7:42 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
My kid has this one. It slides over the suitcase handle, and is small enough to be a carry-on but still holds quite a bit.
Thanks, that looks really hand and I will think about buying it.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 7:56 am
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I use two packing cubes. One for socks underwear and T-shirts and the other for my pants and dress shirts(for work trips). when I get to the hotel i unpack first thing. One drawer for each cube. Simple and fast. Then when i get dressed in the morning i grab what i need from its' respective cube and i'm good to go.

The dirty underwear and socks goes in a cloth laundry bag and when i leave I repack shirts and pants in the cubes and i'm ready to go. the laundry bag is at the bottom.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 8:10 am
  #57  
 
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I wish I were a packing coach, my first client would be my wife. I travel frequently, so I have my systems down to a science. I can get a call and be packed and out the door in 10 minutes. My wife will need 4 days. I can get everything for a 3 day weekend into a backpack. My wife will need a large checked bag that i'll later have to tell her to pull things out of to get it under 50#. A week long business trip for me can be done in a roller carry on with room to spare. My wife will need to commandeer the entire cargo hold for her stuff.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 9:08 am
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at packing cubes: some can compress (by zipper), too. also the pack-it spectr from eagle-creek are superlight.
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Old Nov 28, 17, 10:53 am
  #59  
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Ordinary packing cubes will compress as much as the stuff in them will compress. I originally thought packing cubes added too much weight, but then discovered the Eagle Creek Specter cubes and use them all the time now. Super light!
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Old Nov 28, 17, 1:43 pm
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My agenda, kept on my desk most of the time, but which travels with me, helps quite a bit. I write down every detail of our travels in there as we plan: airline reservations, car service reservations, hotel reservations, train reservations, etc. Then, I start writing in when I have to order medication refills, when I have to order food for the cats, confirm the cat sitter, any medications for the cats, etc. I make appointments for doctors, dentists, hair, etc. before we leave. All of that is in my agenda.

My husband and I keep a set of packing lists for each of us (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer). Our Fall trip is the longest we take (about a month), and we know to bring the medium suitcases up. If we are only traveling for a week, we do it with carry-ons, and that is easy-peasy. No matter the length of the trip, we travel with packing cubes. Packing cubes can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the nature of the trip and how long you are going to be at each destination. Pack a week's worth of underwear, two sets of silk long underwear and two nightgowns in a small packing cube. In winter, pack a week's worth of wool stockings in another packing cube. Put these in a drawer in your hotel. Three to four merino or cashmere sweaters will pack easily into another packing cube. You may choose to leave them in the packing cube in a drawer, or unpack them and hang them in the closet (I keep them in the cube but unroll them if they have been rolled). Pants, jeans (one pair) a skirt (a warm knit) can be kept in their packing cube or hung in the closet, depending on how many days in that hotel.

I have a drawerful of toiletry samples that I put in my 311 bag days before a trip. They are all products I know, love, and trust. The only "big" (still within the 311 rules) items I take from my bathroom are my sunscreen and my toothbrush.

I keep my make-up simple for travel: one small-ish bag containing essentials (CC cream, undereye concealer, Naked Basics 2 eyeshadows, one mascara, eyebrow gel, one blush, two lipsticks, small powder). I don't have time for a whole lot of fuss with makeup when I travel, and it is not the time to experiment with stuff. OTOH, I am middle-aged, and can't afford to walk around looking like a zombie. I keep the bag by the mirror with the best light, and repack all contents as I use them.

The other way to use the packing cubes, btw, is simply to pack outfits in them. If you are only going to be in a hotel for a night or two, pack an entire outfit in a packing cube. Unpack that day's packing cube each day.
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